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How to Prepare and Fillet a Whole Round Fish

What to look for when buying your fish for filleting:

  • The fish should have bright clear eyes.
  • The gills should be deep red in colour.
  • Fresh fish is stiff and the flesh should be nice and firm to the touch.
  • Fresh fish should not smell fishy; it only starts to smell when it is breaking down.
Cut off the fish's fins with scissors
2. Cut away all the fins using a strong pair of scissors.
Descale the fish with a knife
1. Hold the fish by its tail under cold running water and scrape from the tail towards the head, using a fish scaler or the back of a knife, going against the scales.
Cut behind the head down to the backbone
4. Make a cut behind the head down to the backbone.
Cut open the fish and remove the guts
3. Slit open the belly of the fish from the anal opening right up to the head and remove the guts. Cut away any remaining and wash under cold water.
Lift off the fillet and repeat on the other side
6. Lift off your fillet, turn the fish over and repeat the process.
Cut the fish from head to tail
5. With the knife still in place, turn it towards the tail and start to cut away from the head. Place your hand flat on top of the fish and cut away in one clean movement, keeping the knife as close to the bone and as flat as possible, all the way down to the tail.